Top 8 Body-Image Lessons We Learned from TV and the Movies

How 'Ugly Betty', Joan Holloway and Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak taught us to love ourselves (9 Photos)

Leslie Goldman on Jul 28, 2010 at 12:41AM

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Top 8 Body-Image Lessons We Learned from TV and the Movies

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Tracy Turnblad, 'Hairspray'

For many Gen Xers, the original Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) was our first introduction to a positive portrayal of plus-sized women. The boisterous, bouffant-sporting Turnblad landed a regular dancing spot on the The Corny Collins Show, despite her size. Instant celebrity ensued, and she was hired as a plus-size model for the Hefty Hideaway clothing store, stole the hunky boyfriend from a bitchy (and skinny) former Corny Collins star, and became a champion for racial integration in 1962 Baltimore. Turnblad's bombastic personality was infectious, proving that even the prettiest, thinnest model is ugly if she can't play nice. Nikki Blonsky (pictured) played Turnblad in the 2007 remake and can now be seen in HUGE, a drama set in a teenage weight-loss camp.

Lesson learned: Personality trumps plump proportions.

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